May 30, 2021
Poetry: A Healing Tool for Dark Days
I started this month with mental health for writers, and I want to end it with a more personal look at the same topic.One of the many reasons I’ve been grateful to Open Book for offering me this residency ...
May 25, 2021
The Many Faces of Writer's Block
Despite the fact that I don’t really believe in it, the words Writers’ Block always conjure up a dark, amorphous cloud in my mind. Which is ironic, because the part I don’t believe is that there’s ...
May 20, 2021
Toilets and the Research Iceberg : Bringing History to Life
The best and worst part of writing historical fiction is research. The best and worst part of research is that chasing every bright and shiny object – oops, I mean fact – can be so addictive that ...
May 17, 2021
The Writer's Voice: It's Not What You Say but How You Say It
‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’ As a child and teen I heard this simply as a parent’s retort to the self-righteous whine, ‘But I only said…’As a writer I realise it’s ...
May 14, 2021
My Top Ten Tips for Making a Living as a Writer
Writing is a lousy way to make a living, but a great way to make a life, I said when I started this residency. I’ve been doing both for thirty years. So here are 10 points that I’ve learned about ...
May 11, 2021
Don't Write What You Know, Know What You Feel
‘Write what you know,’ must be one of the most common and boring bits of writing advice. I’d say, ‘Don’t worry about what you know – just know what you feel.’You can research most things ...
May 07, 2021
Kids' Books - More than just learning to read
In my previous life as a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ll guarantee I was never asked, ‘Do you think you’ll ever work with real patients?’ But as a children’s author, I’m equally sure ...
May 03, 2021
Mental Health Awareness for Writers - not such a crazy idea.
The night I started planning my posts for this residency, I dreamed I was at a writers’ festival. A poet told me she wished she could tell stories – I said, ‘Every poem you write tells a story!’ ...